May 6, 2020 / 4:21 PM / a month ago

Safilo sales slide due to coronavirus store lockdowns

May 6 (Reuters) - Italian spectacles maker Safilo reported a steep decline in first-quarter sales on Wednesday as the coronavirus prompted the temporary closure of most of its stores.

Sales in the first quarter were down 11.5% at constant currencies at 221.1 million euros ($239 million).

First-quarter adjusted earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization margin shrunk to 2.6% from 8.1% a year ago.

The company warned that that the fall in sales in the current quarter would be worse than in the previous one due to the almost complete shutdown of its distribution channels.

Safilo also said that it expects the re-start in May and June as governments start lifting lockdown measures to be very gradual and patchy, contributing to lower sales for the quarter.

As people stayed at home to curb the spread of the virus, online sales grew by almost 25% at constant currencies in the first quarter, increasing to 6% of total sales from 4% a year ago.

Rival EssilorLuxottica also reported a slump in first-quarter sales on Tuesday and warned of an even bigger hit in the current quarter for the same reason. ($1 = 0.9262 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk and Claudia Cristoferi in Milan;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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